Bobi Céspedes: Tribute To Celia Cruz | SFJAZZ
Bobi Céspedes: Tribute To Celia Cruz
A sonera of the classic Cuban style and a priestess of the Yorùbán diaspora, treasured Bay Area singer Bobi Céspedes was described by the Los Angeles Times as “a Cuban powerhouse of a woman who demonstrates on record and in concert that she is the worthy successor to the throne of Celia Cruz.” Céspedes founded the influential Bay Area Cuban ensemble Conjunto Céspedes in 1981 with her brother Luis and nephew Guillermo, releasing three spectacular albums on the Green Linnet and Xenophile labels and sharing the stage with salsa titans Tito Puenté, Rubén Blades and Celia Cruz. The singer worked with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum project beginning in 1998, appearing on his Supralingua and Spirit into Sound releases, and toured the world with his ensemble that also featuring SFJAZZ Education Director Rebeca Mauleón. Work with the family band and Hard meant that Céspedes didn’t release an album under her own name until 2003’s Six Degrees session Rezos, a blend of Cuban son and electronic beats that included the track “Awoyo,” a composition featured in season 4 of the smash Showtime series Dexter. Her follow-up, Patakin, features a cross-section of the Bay Area’s finest Latin jazz musicians including bassist Saul Sierra and pianist Marco Díaz.